What is acupuncture?

Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of the complementary extremes of “yin” and “yang” of the life force known as “qi,” pronounced “chi.” Illness is said to be the consequence of an imbalance of the forces.

Qi is said to flow through meridians, or pathways, in the human body. These meridians and energy flows are accessible through 350 acupuncture points in the body. Inserting needles into these points with appropriate combinations is said to bring the energy flow back into proper balance.


In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed a number of conditions in which they say acupuncture has been proven effective.

These include:

- high and low blood pressure
- chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- some gastric conditions, including peptic ulcer
- painful periods
- dysentery
- allergic rhinitis
- facial pain
- morning sickness
- rheumatoid arthritis
- sprains
- tennis elbow
- sciatica
- dental pain
- reducing the risk of stroke
- inducing labor

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